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Letter: We must educate, inform ourselves to overcome division

What I find most disturbing is that almost the entire Republican Party has gone along with the big lie or have remained conveniently silent.

Letter to the editor FSA
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Last week marked the one-year anniversary of the armed attack on the U.S. Capitol . As elected lawmakers gathered in Washington to carry out the certification of the 2020 election, we watched on live TV as a mob used flag poles, wooden planks, fire extinguishers and metal fencing as weapons against the Capitol police. It was a horrifying scene but not surprising.

Former President Donald Trump spent months prior to the election whipping up hysteria among his followers by sowing doubt in the integrity of the American election system even claiming, “The only way we’re going to lose this election is if the election is rigged.” Once the election was over, Trump and his allies publicly and privately pressured election officials to “find those votes” and “recalculate” the numbers. Sixty-three lawsuits, numerous recounts, including three in Georgia, forensic audits and even partisan reviews have affirmed the results of the 2020 election. And yet, he summoned his followers together on January 6 and repeated the lie that the election was stolen.

What I find most disturbing is that almost the entire Republican Party has gone along with the big lie or have remained conveniently silent. Once the outspoken defenders of law enforcement, Republicans were nowhere to be seen last Thursday, a day of appreciation for the bravery of the police who risked their lives holding back the horde, hellbent on destroying democracy. In the past year Republican lawmakers across the country have proposed hundreds of bills making it more difficult to vote. A self-governed society cannot survive when one of the two major parties is more concerned with maintaining power by whatever means necessary than honoring the oath they took to uphold the Constitution.

I have always felt fortunate that I grew up in a small town in northern Minnesota: good, salt-of-the-earth people, life-long friends, a quality education. But I worry that the current us- against-them mentality is pitting urban against rural America. And apparently division and unrest can be very profitable for some media outlets, personalities and other businesses. Now, more than ever, we need to educate and inform ourselves. Following one news source is not sufficient, nor is looking to social media for news and information.

Lori Sande Soukup, Stillwater, Minn.

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